Harare City Council has come face to face with the reality of the chronic water shortages facing the capital after being forced to close down its Rowan Martin administration offices which have been without running water for two weeks.

In a departmental memo in possession of the ZBC News, Acting Human Capital Director, Retired Major Matthew Marara stated that the situation exposed council employees and stakeholders to waterborne diseases, hence the decision to close down the offices.

“The failure to provide potable, wholesome and clean safe water by the local authority is in contravention of the Factories and Works Act Chapter 14:08 RGN 263, Provision of safe water at workplaces and the Public Health Act Chapter 15:09, Water and Sanitation,” wrote Retired Major Marara.

Contacted for comment, Council Spokesperson, Innocent Ruwende appeared to water down the contents of the memorandum, saying it is now business as usual at Rowan Martin after the situation was rectified.

“The water problems which were being experienced have since been rectified. Note that the building was never closed to ratepayers. We were operating with skeletal staff during the time in question,” said Ruwende.

Most suburbs in the capital city are going for long periods, at times several months, without any running water, while burst sewer pipes are a common feature in some areas.